band music with narration

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stevecritchlow, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I want to do something a little different for our next concert, and as we have an excellent poet as our band president, I thought a piece that could involve him as a narrator would be a nice plan.

    Anyone got suggestions for good pieces with narration? we are a decent 4th / 3rd section band

  2. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    Roger Thorne's Zulu works.
  3. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Kippax had a smashing arrangement of "Tubby the Tuba" with full narration arranged either by Keith or Mark Wardle.
    We never played it out, but did a fair amount of rehearsal on it. ( I think it never got played out because I stubbornly refused to play the high octave bits with top Cs etc and insisted on dropping it down ~ Wuss eh ?)
    Might be worth contacting Kip Band.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  4. Backrowmike

    Backrowmike Member

    War of the Worlds is effective with the Richard Burton prologue and loved by audiences.
  5. Rambo

    Rambo Member

    The'I had a dream' speech by Martin Luther King read over the final movement od Laudate Dominum.

  6. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    How ambitious do you want to be? Roger Payne wrote a wonderfully descriptive work based on a short story by Oscar Wilde called The Little Swallow and the Happy Prince, which runs to about 25 minutes. Andy Scott's Battle of Barossa has a part for narrator. Philip Wilby's work Brass is another idea, which uses poetry by Ian MacMillan. Or Edward Watson's arrangements of Walton's film music from Henry V or Richard III, in which the appropriate Shakespearean lines can be recited.

    Alternatively, I've always thought that it would be neat to intone the words of John Masefield's famous poem Cargoes over the three movements of Ray Steadman-Allen's much neglected Seascapes (which is based on the poem, obviously).

    Admittedly, some of these might be a bit tough for bands of more modest abilities, but they'd certainly be a good challenge!
  7. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Seascapes is one Hell of a piece ~ Played it many years ago and I certainly enjoyed the challenges.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  8. TrumpetTom

    TrumpetTom Member

    1812? Matt Routley did that at a massed bands concert (dyke, hebden bridge, british trombone society, newstead, yorkshire youth) and theres a video on youtube. Also I think Rex Richardson narrated a piece with Fodens at the last RNCM festival of brass.
  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    A couple from the Salvation Army repertoire would be Bill Himes' "Jericho revisited" or Bob Redhead's "Deus Vobiscum", a tribute to the Canadian Staff Band players lost in the Empress of Ireland disaster.

    Bill Himes' "To the Chief Musician" also features a speaker, together with choral speaking and singing from the band.
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    As I recall, there's also some narration involved with R.S.-A.'s "Logos", although I'm not certain if this was in the original, or was added on the CSB recording ... ???
  11. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I remember that lp coming out (if I recall correctly Arnold Brown - later to become General -did the narration), and I still reckon it's a work that is unduly neglected in R S-A's oeuvre.
  12. blue juice

    blue juice Member

    An American Tale is a very good piece with a great narration about the American civil war, could be a bit difficult in places for 4th/3rd section but depends whether you like a challenge.
  13. Euphjam

    Euphjam Member

    Alloway Tales ( in auld scots of course ).
  14. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Yes, of course! And well within the abilities of a 3rd/4th section band too. You might need someone with a flair for Scots dialect to do it full justice though.

    The piece which Rex Richardson narrated (mentioned above) is Andy Scott's 'Spirit of Mingus'. A fantastic piece, with a great bit of theatre at the end. But like some of my suggestions, it might tax a band of more modest abilities. Quite apart from requiring two drum kits.....
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    He did....fabulous thing it was too....Besses performed it in 1981 along with Fireworks both in a studio setting and live from the Harrogate Festival with Robert Powell narrating.

    It was commissioned by the BBC....sadly, no-one appears to know where the manuscript is....I've spoken to various people looking for it over the years.
  16. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I have a recording of Little Swallow. I'm sorry to hear the manuscript is missing. Is Roger Payne still around, does anyone know?
  17. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    I've heard this played by MBBA of Morecambe - a very moving piece
  18. RossAB

    RossAB Member

    I've played Jericho revisited before and never really liked it. Always felt way too cheesy for my liking. Played Chief Musician for the first time last year though, fantastic piece of music!
  19. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    Not park job material I know but I used to love listening to Facade by Walton when i was a student and was.........uurrrmmmm...drunk!!!!???......

    I dont know if anyone ever attempted to arrange it for band but it would surly make good RNCM festival fodder...
  20. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Edward Watson did an arrangement of movements from "Facade" for Black Dyke. I seem to remember the "Richard III" suite also includes narration:

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